Transformation of industry verticals through 5G – Focus and Look Indoors

photo_quahmeilee
By Quah Mei Lee, Associate Director at Frost & Sullivan

Now that 5G is here, it is time to up the ante. Many of us (analysts in particular) have been waiting in anticipation to see how all the potential that we saw in 5G is going to start triggering the necessary building blocks that will transform the region and the world.

The much anticipated infrastructure – less hyped this time – that will enable a smarter and more connected world promised to drive digital economies for governments, to create new monetization opportunities for businesses and offer a real perceivable difference over 4G for consumers.

Has it delivered? Well, not yet.

However, there have been some critical changes on the supply side that are seen as positive for the industry. Firstly, there have been changes in terms of who owns the network infrastructure. Sites, especially indoor sites, are no longer solely owned by mobile operators but increasingly owned by tower companies and neutral hosts. In fact, a key milestone in industry collaboration and integration of the telecommunications and real estate industries was achieved in China earlier this month. The Shanghai Lujiazui L+ Mall was launched and will offer a high quality, innovative shopping experience powered by 5G. Services range from shopping assistance, delivery, and destination guidance offered by 5G smart robots to 5G+AI face recognition, 5G+8K HD video, indoor precise navigation and people flow analysis.

Secondly, an Open Site Interest Group has been set up. As an industry collaboration initiative, it seeks to enable scaled construction of 5G through use of a site resource sharing platform and site construction standards. Thirdly, industry is increasingly accelerating applications through standardization. This will impact customer experience and give the application economy a boost. Lastly, for the first time since 2G, a spirit of enablement is taking shape across the region and around the world. Bringing it all together through industry collaboration is now more feasible than ever. Although not immediately apparent, the combination of these changes can potentially trigger drastic change and the start of a whole new wave of growth mobile operators.

So, will it happen? Possibly. To make it reality, industry needs to focus and look indoors.

According to a survey conducted at the 5th Annual Asia Pacific Spectrum Management Conference held in Kuala Lumpur in March 2019, 79% of respondents said that they will rate their mobile operator according to the indoor network quality that they experience. Within the survey, Malaysian respondents were more critical of their mobile operator with 88% of respondents claiming indoor system quality as important to them. Malaysians also showed that they were more supportive of Digital Indoor Systems (DIS) than their global counterparts. An overwhelming 93% of Malaysians agreed that DIS availability was important. These statistics represent the changing needs on the demand side across the region that needs to be addressed.

With 80% of network traffic now originating from indoors, it is not hard to see that indoor use cases will become a key driver of 5G networks. As the number of 5G launches increase in number, mobile data usage will increase exponentially alongside new applications such as Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 8K live video streaming and location-based services

(LBS). All of which will primarily take place indoors. This means that improving customer experience indoors to monetize 5G will become a priority and of utmost importance. This coupled with users increasingly becoming critical of their mobile operators when it comes to the indoor environment require that mobile operators focus on indoors for the next wave of growth.

5G has the potential to transform industry verticals through 5G indoor connectivity but experts in the industry expect certain key verticals will experience stronger growth than others. Interestingly, the survey also found that a key driver for spend on DIS is solving pain points for users. Ecosystem partners interviewed go further to say that once DIS in place, new applications can be monetized which will be a factor that can drive further spend in DIS. Smart in the Philippines and AIS in Thailand bring a different perspective to light. Their implementations of DIS highlight the need for successful brand maintenance as a critical survival factor within an increasingly competitive landscape, not just for mobile operators but for businesses in general.

A key success factor for DIS would be for mobile operators to focus on key verticals where there will be stronger growth and a clearer value proposition for 5G indoor connectivity. Verticals such as retail, media and entertainment, tourism and hospitality, and industrial manufacturing are some examples of the more promising key verticals.

o Within retail, shopping malls around the world are transforming into shopping experience centers. They are now providing value add network based services such as AR/VR game services and heat maps to drive retail spend. o Within media and entertainment, 5G stadiums seek to offer unique, thrilling experiences for audiences using AR to draw the crowds in. News spreads quickly of the use of an AR fire- breathing wyvern on opening day 2019 at Munhak Baseball Stadium in South Korea. o Within tourism and hospitality, smart hotel concepts are paving the way for the industry to soar to greater heights in customer experience. The InterContinental Shenzhen in China recently initiated creating the industry’s first end-to-end 5G network that will offers guests innovative, luxury experience. o Within industrial manufacturing, increasing cost pressure is driving the need for high network availability to support use of augmented remote service assistance and real-time and historical data for predictive analysis to improve operational efficiency and productivity.

Given the advantages of DIS over the conventional Distributed Antenna System (DAS), mobile operators worldwide have already begun the transition from DAS to DIS. To date, the most notable progress has been in China with its achievement of about 80% penetration for new indoor system deployments. The nation as a whole has achieved consensus on what is need to progress in terms of indoor network coverage and regulators have developed performance test criteria for 5G indoor scenarios. This soon to be ubiquitous indoor experience will facilitate the many applications soon to entice China’s millennials that have high spending power. Wechat’s 1 million mini programs1 are only an indicator of what might be facilitated within China’s new indoor environment.

Regionally, a common theme across the case studies of mobile operators implementing DIS show that mobile operators are looking for cost effective, future-proof solutions (e.g. 5G-ready) that can be deployed quickly. For example, HKT in Hong Kong implemented DIS to reduce CAPEX as lead

1 https://www.scmp.com/tech/article/2153705/tencents-wechat-now-host-1-million-mini-programs

mobile operator while sharing the 5G-ready solution and providing high quality mobile data service to subscribers. Turkcell in Turkey leveraged on DIS for the shorter construction time and 5G- readiness and Sichuan Mobile in China deployed DIS in office buildings, shopping malls and hospitals to refresh and improve existing indoor application coverage.

In conclusion, conventional economics dictate that the supply side needs to be optimized to address changes on the demand side. There is no doubt that indoor use cases will become a key driver of 5G networks and correspondingly users will make increasing demands on their mobile operator when it comes to the indoor environment. Focus needs to shift to transforming indoors for DIS to enable 5G and on specific key verticals for the next wave of growth to happen. 5G is here, it is time for transformation of the indoors environment, especially in Malaysia.

5G as an enabler of smart cities: Frost & Sullivan

photo_quahmeilee
By Quah Mei Lee, Associate Director at Frost & Sullivan

When 5G comes to mind these days, we think of “is this REALLY it?” and “have we really progressed?”. If you have been in the industry for 10-20 years and have seen how un-fantastic 2G, 3G and 4G have been, you might think “what is this 5G?” and “do I even need to think about it?”.

The feedback so far has not been all positive but mainly due to lack of clarity and awareness on the latest developments. Some people are saying that 5G is not the problem solver, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is not quite what it is made out to be, and if it is just about faster speed, who will pay for it? Some pessimism has been noted from mobile operators and investors but this is also along with some optimism by analysts such as me and vendors.

Here is what I see. I see an enabler. And, I see the spirit of enablement taking shape across the region and around the world. We are truly seeing a new beginning with new ideas moving from trials to commercialization. However, I am a firm believer that “reality” is what we as part of industry make of it.

5G will impact most on transportation and logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, media, education and smart cities. Of all the key verticals highlighted, smart cities might be a good place to start if we are serious about making things happen with 5G. It might just be the place we find some of the more feasible ideas come out and where we find the initial volume to drive 5G at the right price points.

Smart city goals include creating long term economic sustainability, providing a high quality of life for citizens and ensuring safety, resource security and environmental sustainability. Smart city parameters currently define smart technology as covering technologies and services that enable easy access and widespread connectivity. Surely 5G fits within this definition, so why hasn’t it?

5G is here but only few companies have started to really plan their roadmaps with 5G in mind. It is time companies considered how 5G will impact their businesses and their services.

Within what smart city applications can be, we can immediately see how 5G networks can be an enabler of smart city infrastructure. Open a smart city plan and the common bingo words such as artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, internet of things and connected cars appear. The question we might ask at this juncture is, “where does it really fit and how can it make a difference”.

I happened to be in Seoul when 5G was launched in April 2019 and I will tell you this. In my 20 years in this industry, I have never seen such a fight over a technology commercialization launch but what it represented meant a whole lot more. What is the 20 trillion won in South Korea and the US$20 billion dollar in the US allocation for research and development for if no one saw the potential in 5G.

What is missing today are the applications optimized for 5G. Few people will pay US$50-70 per month to use 4G applications on 5G. The good news is that mobile operators know they need more applications and we are going to see more applications come out from South Korea. Not all applications will be replicable and relevant outside of South Korea but nevertheless, they represent  positive effort towards monetization of 5G.

After 20 years of hibernation, it seems like our mummy of the telecommunications industry has finally woken up as 5G. We are not sure of its wrath on the world but we think it has got potential.

In most countries, even in Malaysia, prioritization of technology infrastructure is a key aspect of smart cities. Yet for us here in Malaysia, as an example of countries around the world, 5G is still not deeply embedded into smart city development plans. It is common knowledge that 80% of mobile operator traffic originates indoors so it is not hard to see that 5G will be driven by indoor applications.

In fact, Frost & Sullivan conducted as survey at the recent Asia Pacific Spectrum Management 2019 held in Kuala Lumpur in March 2019. We found that 93% of Malaysian respondents said that the availability of digital indoor systems (DIS) is important and 55% said it was needed now. The global numbers were not too different.

This is positive for the industry yet I know from hands on experience that the indoors isn’t the easiest place to transform, especially in Malaysia. The upside to this is the fact that regionally sites are no longer solely owned by mobile operators but increasingly owned by neutral hosts and infrastructure providers. Things are slowly changing and for the better.

I started talking about 5G two years ago. What people liked about it was the potential of 5G to contribute towards growth of GDP and the potential to create the opportunities for new use cases and business models not just for mobile operators but also for the wider industry ecosystem. I also suggested then that mobile operators find initial volume within government projects to get 5G to the right prices for the rest of industry.
To frame 5G around smart cities, we see how open data can drive smart city initiatives. What better technology mine a large amount of data – faster – more sensibly – than with 5G. The only caveat is that the local government in the country in question needs to have already adopted open data.

Based on today’s progress, this is still not universally the case globally.
In March 2019, Malaysia took a step forward with a public-private collaboration to make use of open data to drive smart city initiatives. MAMPU is now working closely with industry technology players such as NetApp. NetApp will provide the government with the much needed data storage and data management architecture to enable the optimization of open data in a safe environment.

Also with 5G, what is reinforced is the need for specific skill set capabilities and the role of integrators to bring together end to end solutions. The formation of industry partnerships is critical for the development of 5G. Here again we can draw parallels with the smart city world.

To be clear, if we were already creating the solutions for smart cities within government,
manufacturing, transportation, logistics, retail, media, healthcare and agriculture, why are we not leveraging more on 5G, especially when it has the characteristics that can drive smart city applications.

The idea is not to scrap the fiber that is in place, even 5G depends on fiber. It might be a better approach to look at the smart city applications that are out there and to see how 5G can help to transform them. Don’t start from scratch but enhance existing plans and potentially achieve better results for every dollar invested over the smart city journey.

In conclusion, it is not about the faster speeds and wider bandwidth that come with 5G. It is about how faster speeds and wider bandwidths can impact businesses and more importantly the consumers. 5G can play a key role as an enabler in local countries progress towards smart nations. It can even potentially power smart cities if set our minds to it. From buildings managed by smartphones to self-sustainable elders, the future is what we as part of industry make of it.

‘Fire is the test of gold’: Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping

A New Year’s Message for 2019

Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman philosopher, once said, “The greater the difficulty, the greater the glory.” Truer words were never spoken as we bring 2018 to a solid close. It has been an eventful year, to say the least. But we have never stopped pushing forward, and as a result our 2018 sales revenue is expected to reach 108.5 billion US dollars, up 21% year-on-year.

GuoPing_update2016
Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping

We have signed 26 commercial contracts for 5G with leading global carriers, and have already shipped more than 10,000 5G base stations to markets around the world. More than 160 cities and 211 Fortune Global 500 companies have selected Huawei as their partner for digital transformation.

We have shipped more than 200 million smartphones, and have made remarkable breakthroughs in both our PC business and IoT ecosystem for smart homes. Huawei Cloud has launched over 140 cloud services in 18 categories, and we are working with our partners to serve global customers with 37 availability zones across 22 regions.

This year we also announced our AI strategy and launched a full-stack portfolio of AI solutions for all scenarios. This portfolio includes the world’s first all-scenario AI chips–our Ascend series–as well as related products and cloud services.

Our business performance remains strong, and this is by far the most direct form of validation that we can receive from our customers. It is also our best response to negative conjecture and market restrictions. Here I would like to thank all of our customers and partners, as well as the public, for your trust and support. Thanks to our employees for your incredible, hard work. And finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to your families for their unfailing support and understanding. No matter what changes we might face, our procurement strategy will remain unchanged. We will keep our policy consistent especially for our US suppliers and firmly collaborate with them for shared success.

In the coming year, we will see new waves of development in digitization and intelligence, and we may very well encounter even greater difficulties. In times like this, we must summon our inner strength, improve the quality of our operations, inspire passion across the organization, and continue forging ahead to satisfy customer needs and achieve strategic leadership.

In 2019, we will focus on strategic businesses and strategic opportunities and build a more resilient business structure. We will continue to optimize our product investment portfolio to achieve end-to-end strategic leadership. As part of this, we need to retain products that are competitive and appealing, and phase out those that aren’t. We will cut down on the development of products that haven’t been competitive for some years now, and redirect our people towards areas of strategic opportunity. If we can develop the simplest possible network architecture, make our transaction models as simple as possible, ensure the highest level of cyber security and privacy protection, produce the best products, and provide the best services, no market can keep us away.

In 2018, we successfully optimized the investment portfolio for our Carrier Software & Core Network Business Dept. A group of key people remained in the carrier software domain to help it increase profitability, while others transferred to other domains to support the company’s strategic development. The Carrier Software & Core Network Business Dept has set a benchmark for other departments in terms of both organizational and business transformation. Lonely heroes are among the greatest.

In 2019, we will fully enhance our software engineering capabilities to build trustworthy, quality products. Our products and solutions have earned the trust of our customers in more than 170 countries and regions. We have a very strong track record in cyber security. Huawei has never and will never present a security threat.

Today, the trustworthiness of ICT products has become the top concern of our customers, and solid software engineering capabilities and practices are the foundation for building this trust. We will hold ourselves to the highest standards, placing cyber security and privacy protection at the very top of our agenda. We plan to systematically enhance our software engineering capabilities over the next five years, building trust and high quality into each and every one of our products and solutions.

We will inspire greater passion in the field, and focus on growing the harvest and increasing the fertility of our soil. Through a pilot project for contract approval at the rep-office level, we aim to inspire greater passion and increase the per-capita contribution of our teams in the field. We will do this while also ensuring internal and external compliance, meeting financial targets, and maintaining sustainable development. For this project, we will use working capital as a constraint and total rewards as an incentive.

Under centralized governance, we will gradually optimize our operations and establish a new operating model. HQ will loosen control and delegate more authority to field offices. It will focus on budget management while field offices make good use of the authority they’re given. In essence, budgets will represent the direction of the company, and decision-making authority will be delegated to those who are closest to our customers.

By optimizing the relationship between HQ and field offices, we aim to increase productivity, and inspire our teams in the field to make greater contributions, which will naturally bring them greater returns. We will continue to use AI in our GTS, Finance, and Supply Chain to automate large amounts of highly repetitive work. This will help us drive efficiency and address practical pain points in our business departments.

We will refocus the efforts of our manager and expert teams on business success while building out stable teams of professional operations staff. The opposite of success is not failure, but mediocrity. We can’t let our managers become overcautious or commonplace, and we need to prevent Huawei itself from becoming a mediocre company. Our managers must have drive, not apathy. Constant vigilance, perhaps a bit of madness even, is vital to success. We will continue to open our arms and embrace scientists from around the world, while strengthening the rotation of our own experts. Generalists and specialists at Huawei need to rotate, and we must use our examination and appraisal systems to weed out the experts who are no longer qualified. By further bolstering our professional operations staff, we will be able to build a set of stable, efficient, and quality operational systems and teams.

We will optimize individual performance management and build a more united team. When managing performance, we should not overly focus on individual results and responsibilities. Of course, we need to inspire our people to keep improving their performance and capabilities, but we also need to inspire them to do the same for their teammates. While maintaining a focus on results and responsibilities, we should also de-emphasize output as a factor of productivity. We need to look at how much value our people create for customers, how they help others maximize their contribution, and how they use the output of others to improve their own. We will learn from Google Corps and form our special forces.

We will value the most dedicated among us, and put everyone on equal footing when rewarding contribution. We should explore incentive structures that better match the characteristics of different businesses while ensuring the consistency of our HR policies. We need to combine different kinds of incentives to reflect different responsibilities and contributions, both for teams and individual employees. This will give people the extra motivation they need to push themselves and achieve more. Naturally, those who contribute more will earn more. Bonuses should serve as an incentive for short-term contributions, and also as a guide for future investment. We should reward those who work to grow the harvest, as well as those who work to increase the fertility of our soil for future growth.

We will look out for others, collaborate for shared success, and build a favorable business ecosystem. As the dynamic between world powers becomes more intense, we will see even greater uncertainty in the macro business environment. We aren’t equipped to change the macro environment, but what we can do is keep our feet on the ground and improve the business ecosystem for our own industry.

We must step up efforts to establish our global presence and increase investment, making tangible contributions to local communities and working to secure opportunities for fair competition. We need to establish fields, both internally and externally, where we can proactively engage with stakeholders like governments, media outlets, our partners and suppliers, and industry standards organizations. Every Huawei employee is an ambassador of our core values and a representative of the Huawei brand. We also need to understand different value systems around the world and use a more global mindset to resolve the issues we encounter in western countries.

We will remain calm and composed in the face of adversity, and use the certainty of legal compliance to deal with the uncertainty of international politics. Going global means complying with the laws of all countries and regions where we operate. This is the most important basis for us to survive, serve, and contribute to the world at large. We must continue to incorporate compliance requirements into all business activities through carefully aligned policy, systems, organizations, processes, culture, training, and communications. These requirements must be ingrained in the awareness and behavior of each and every Huawei employee. We must not be discouraged by malicious incidents or temporary setbacks, and must remain determined to achieve global leadership. Setbacks will only make us more courageous, and incredibly unfair treatment will drive us to become the world’s number one.

Over the past three decades, we have served our customers with religious devotion, working closely with them and our partners to bring telecommunications technology beyond the confines of ivory towers and labs and give it practical application in cities and remote regions the world over. By doing this, we are bridging the digital divide between developed and underdeveloped countries and regions, and connecting more than three billion people around the world. We can proudly say that we have left a profound impact on the course of human civilization.

Today, as an important leader and contributor in the ICT industry, Huawei is now a member of more than 380 industry organizations, where we serve in 300+ key positions and submit more than 6,000 proposals each year.

We are ahead of others in domains like wireless, optical, data communications, and smart devices. For 5G markets that choose to not work with Huawei–they will be like an NBA game without star players: the game will go on, but with less deftness, flair, and expertise. As for new developments in technologies like AI, big data, and cloud, we are in sync with the industry and primed to take the lead.

In the years ahead, the ICT industry will continue to overflow with excitement and promise. Building on 30 years of experience, Huawei will accomplish great things. Each and every Huawei employee will accomplish great things, too.

Digital transformation is in full swing, and we find ourselves at the cusp of an intelligent world. Consumers are actively looking for more advanced, more trustworthy digital technologies and services. Going digital and intelligent will be a long process, so we need to keep innovating and delivering cutting-edge results.

Always remember that the journey is hard, but joyful. Fire is the test of gold. Hardship and pressure will only make us more united and stronger. I have no doubt that we will achieve what we’ve set out to do: to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

A thousand ships sailed past the shipwreck; our day to brave the winds and waves will come. No hardships or difficulties can stop us sailing forward.

‘Cracking the 5G monetization puzzle’ – column

By Quah Mei Lee, Frost & Sullivan Industry Principal – Telecoms & Payments Strategy

Facing slow or stagnant growth, 5G is an opportunity for mobile network operators in Asia-Pacific to seek out new revenue streams, particularly in the more lucrative and profitable enterprise segment.

However, mobile service providers all across Asia-Pacific are still trying to understand how to monetize 5G.

It does not help that mobile network operators have been plagued by legacy practices that encourage short term and narrow focus, unrealistic projections, silo approach to partnerships and solutions and technology strategy planning that is never really optimal.

It also does not help that 5G is coming up when customer experience is becoming a key performance metric and a top challenge.

In a way, 5G might be just what mobile network operators need to address customer experience woes. Choosing to embark on the journey towards 5G will bring about new ways of thinking and working to come up with end to end services through partnerships that focus on the same end customer.

The prize is the ability to regain competitiveness against fibre players
and to get back on a growth trajectory. There are 3 things to note if you are seeking to crack the monetization puzzle:

Firstly, if you don’t really understand customer needs, monetization in the 5G era is only going to get harder. There is a lot of data out there that is only now starting to get processed.

Bit by bit, we are starting to really and truly understand customers. Instead of building solutions so that they will come to you, you need to go out and walk with them. The mobile services business is no longer just about enabling communications between people. It is now about enabling industry growth through solutions built through partnerships to meet the needs of the jointly targeted customer.

Secondly, if you can’t do scale, you can’t do 5G. 5G requires leveraging on scale. Unless you are after the wholesale market for 5G, unique niches and leveraging on government support to drive initial volume might be the way to fund initial investments in 5G.

Existing partnerships can be leveraged holistically to expedite innovations to market. You will need to revisit long standing partner relationships as well as business models, and co-create more then you have ever been doing. Capitalize on the edge that 5G will provide.

Monetize and grow your customer base through new 5G services e.g. AI processing, and help verticals to digitalize faster to meet their needs e.g. B2B needs analytics, and solve pain points e.g. revenue leakage.
Thirdly, the enterprise segment will become important for 5G monetization. Not having a strong enterprise segment service offering is never a good idea. You will need to relook your enterprise segment strategy taking into account that the current technology ecosystem is not geared for the next set of enterprise service offerings.

You will need to foster an open dialogue to create a platform to support all current ecosystem players e.g. OEMs, vendors and managed
service providers, and future ecosystem players. Digital services, software defined virtualized infrastructure and security will become the 3 key pillars for 5G. You will need to evolve your technology strategy roadmap around these pillars.

Overall, 5G will play a key role in modernizing and transforming digital businesses in a digital environment. Understanding local demand and needs as well as industry collaboration are key to 5G monetization. Trials by mobile service providers together with equipment suppliers are
leading to addressing this and increasingly helping with business models formulation.
Successful end to end solutions require synergistic partnerships and co-creation. For this to happen, the necessary partnerships need to be forged and workable business models and end to end solutions need to crystalize. Also, as with other disruptions, regulations too need to catch up with new 5G use cases.

Regulators need to understand and be open to new rules for the Intelligent Digital age. For mobile service providers to tap on the opportunities, a lot of effort to plan needs to go in and from now. Will you take up the challenge?

AIIA National iAwards 2018 showcases excellence in Australian tech innovation

Melbourne, Australia – The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the nation’s peak industry body for the technology sector, has announced the National iAwards and PitchFest winners for 2018.

AIIA’s iAwards, now celebrating 25 years, is Australia’s leading awards program for technology innovation. PitchFest is an opportunity for iAwards finalists to showcase their innovations to an expert panel of industry judges.

Over a period of six months, entrants from ACT, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia have competed for the State titles. Winners from each state and territory then came head to head for the national title in their respective categories.

The award categories included Business Service Markets, Community Service Markets, Consumer Markets, Industrial & Primary Industries, Infrastructure & Platforms, Students, Research & Development Project, Public Sector & Government, Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning, Big Data, Startup, Innovation of the Year and the Victoria State Government Inspiration of the Year.

At a gala event held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MLC, Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, presented Blamey Saunders Hears with the Victoria State Government Inspiration of the Year Award.

“The Victorian Government is proud to support AIIA’s iAwards which showcase the incredible innovation and expertise we have in our tech sector. The talent on show at AIIA’s iAwards will play a crucial role in Australia’s future, not only by making our lives better but by growing the digital economy and creating new jobs,” said Mr Dalidakis.

Rob Fitzpatrick, AIIA CEO, said the passion and dedication shown by the 2018 finalists will inspire other Australians to continue to develop ideas and further technological innovation in Australia.

“What we’ve seen tonight from our finalists is awe-inspiring. It’s real proof of the power of innovation to change our world. A modular, self-fitting hearing aid is nothing less than life- changing. Using VR to treat phobias is truly inspired thinking. We’ve got robots that write

  1. 2018 PITCHFEST

    AIIA’s 2018 PitchFest and Innovation Showcase, sponsored by CSIRO’s DATA61 and hosted by RMIT, continues to be an exciting feature event in AIIA’s iAwards program. Prior to the iAwards ceremony it provided a day-long opportunity for the community to hear from a range of this year’s finalists, as they pitch their innovations to our esteemed panel and live audience. S

    “The Victorian Department of Economic Development has been a long-time supporter of AIIA’s iAwards Program, recognising it as a fantastic showcase and celebration of Australian tech innovation, and a key part of our Digital Innovation Festival. It has been so inspiring this year to see such a broad range of innovations,” said Kathy Coultas, Director, Strategic Innovation Investment at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, State Government of Victoria.

    2018 PitchFest is structured around the three student categories and the five core organisation categories.

    2018 PITCHFEST WINNERS

    Junior Students

    § Sacred Heart College – Passion your Purpose Senior Students

    § Rosny College & Launceston College – aWear: Aged Care Watch Undergraduate Tertiary Student

    § University of Wollongong – GenSpeak – A Language Program for Everyone Public Sector & Government

    § CSIRO & Western Health – CALD Assist Consumer Markets

    § Voxon Photonics – VX1 3D Volumetric Display Community Service Markets

    § Blamey Saunders Hears – Facett: A Modular Self-fit Hearing Aid System Industrial & Primary Industries

    § CSIRO’s Data61 – Hovermap Business Service Markets

    § Boundlss – Boundlss

    The 2018 iAwards is proudly supported by Major National iAwards Partner the Victorian Government, National Program Sponsors Informed Solutions and AuDA, and Platinum Table Sponsors NGS Global, Launchvic, Edith Cowan University, Optus, Dialog, University of Technology Sydney, Oakton, CSIRO’s DATA61, The University of Melbourne, Cisco, Holding Redlich, Salesforce and Wipro.

Frost & Sullivan: ‘Are Asia-Pacific economies on the cusp of truly going 100% cashless?’

photo_quahmeilee
Quah Mei Lee, Industry Principal – Telecoms & Payments Strategy, Frost & Sullivan

This year the Asia-Pacific wide trend towards going cashless and achieving ‘Cashless Societies’ seemed closer to reality than ever before. Over the past two years, momentum in the market had driven industry regulators to take positive steps in the right direction resulting in progress.

Meanwhile, government drivers and initiatives have been put into place while an increasing number of companies are now indeed going cashless.

The pace is quickening but worryingly, there seems to be imbalance and misalignment. What we have is a host of companies cramming the market place with local first ‘me too’ payment solutions, but not a lot of companies working towards enabling 100% cashless.

Indeed, our much needed trump card has yet to arrive. There is still potential to disrupt the payments landscape and so much more that we,as representatives of industry can achieve, even with just a few minor tweaks.

I reiterate that if the end goal is to achieve cashless societies, which by definition means 100% cashless, industry focus needs to shift from e-money/credit/debit cards to mobile payments as an enabling solution.

I concede only that it may take a while longer if enabling solutions need connectivity to become faster and cheaper, locally and globally. Until now, key drivers have been the cost effective use of app solutions and developments in digital identities in a fragmented region developing at different paces.

If cash were one day completely removed from circulation, smartphones could be the common denominator across Asia-Pacific but only if connected (globally when required) and paired with solutions incorporating tokenization, biometrics and the use of digital identities. The exception would be in countries where cards are mandated to replace cash but even the simple act of going cashless with cards will act as a catalyst for mobile payments.

The real challenge we are facing today is the fact that cash is seen as a permanent payment option, and that solution providers aren’t developing mobile payments solutions that truly disrupt the payments ecosystem.

Most companies embark on local first campaigns taking solo approaches with few industry partnerships. Payment solutions need a local flavour and presence with global acceptance (if required) in a similar manner to how banks have operated their cards business for over 20 years.

There is not enough emphasis today on solutions that offer global acceptance while focusing on addressing local behaviour, needs and preferences. The closest that we have is Alipay, which has global acceptance pinned down and has partnered for local presence. Unless we are in less developed markets where people are more home bound and travel less, this will continue to be a bottleneck for the payments industry. We need companies to think bigger, to think Global.

There is also not enough of emphasis on getting the fundamentals right. The one failing of the payments industry lies in getting the fundamentals right. After all, what would life be like today if cards were not limited to only a subset of the population? A critical success factor for a payment solution is product strategy. It is not just about having a ready convertible base. Getting the product strategy right would be key to achieving scale and achieving scale is critical to ensuring viability of a payments business model.

Successful seamless, comprehensive solutions did not start from scratch, addressed a gap in the market, offered more than just payments, offered a clear value proposition and had the support of regulations for cross-border regional and global growth. It also incentivizes users in addition to making their life easier. This is where today’s “me too” payments solutions are not adequately addressing market needs.

The right product strategy as well as regulatory and industry alignment, across Asia-Pacific and globally, will be critical for mobile payments to hit mainstream adoption. Today, there isn’t a universal, global alternative payment method accessible to all that can replace cash.

Lessening dependence on cash can be expedited but drastic measures to replace cash can only take place if there were a universal, global alternative payment method accessible to all that can replace cash. To achieve this, we need more global first solution providers and we need local first solutions providers to partner locally, regionally and globally with interoperability as a central theme while at the same time catering to local behaviour, needs and preferences.

An interesting concept would be Alipay as a global merchant acquirer for a global e-money scheme. Indeed, semblance of this concept is already alive in the form of TNG’s global e-wallet alliance albeit with single partners in each market and through use of a common currency i.e. bitcoin, to reduce exchange risk for its users.

The use of mobile biometrics and addressing data protection will address inhibitions to use of mobile payments. Global drivers namely the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the mandate to use stronger customer authentication via the revised payment system directive (PSD2) in Europe and Mastercard’s implementation of biometrics identification including fingerprint and facial recognition, by April 2019 for its customers will give Asia Pacific mobile payments the much needed boost. Likewise, local drivers need to align globally.

For example, Malaysia’s newly minted minimum standard for mobile payments needs to quickly align globally for it to be effective in replacing cash. With 5G all set to transform industry, our future ecosystem will become more and more intelligent and very much connected. There is tremendous potential for growth in the payments industry, particularly alongside the rapid growth of connected devices in Internet of Things but the solutions have to be cashless and mobile.

In summing up, the future of mobile payments needs to be global first, interoperable and secure. Intentional or not, cash and cards are global solutions. Multiple global e-money schemes might be what the industry needs but for sure, we need to think bigger from now and start thinking global. It is not just the solutions that need to be global, connectivity too.

By Quah Mei Lee, Industry Principal at Frost & Sullivan

Protecting tomorrow’s critical infrastructure from cyber attacks: IEC

Catherine-Bischofberger_contact
by Catherine Bischofberger, Technical Communications Officer at the International Electrotechnical Commission

Imagine a city the size of London thrown into chaos, as public transport grinds to a halt and traffic lights stop functioning …This is no longer the stuff of nightmares or the scenario of a disaster movie but a prospect that is getting more likely every day.

Critical infrastructure facilities, whether power or nuclear plants, national railway and local underground systems or other forms of public transport, are increasingly targeted by cyber attacks. Sophisticated cyber weapons have been developed, including malware designed to disrupt the operation of industrial control systems.

The growing use of connected devices in the industrial environment make cyber threats more likely. According to the report Threat Landscape for Industrial Automation Systems, published by cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab, 18 000 different malware modifications to industrial automation systems were detected in the first six months of 2017.

When machines talk to each other

Machine-to-machine communication is a set of technologies that enables networked devices to interoperate, exchange information or perform actions, often wirelessly and without the manual assistance of humans. Sensors are embedded in a growing number of devices which are utilized to automate and manage process control systems, including transmission and distribution of electricity. While they offer undeniable advantages in terms of cost and maintenance, they are also increasingly vulnerable to hacking.

Cyber security is therefore one of the key concerns for those who manage modern manufacturing plants as well as any form of critical infrastructure. One of the only ways to safeguard these facilities now and in the future is by providing standardized protection measures.

Efficient security processes and procedures cover the whole value chain, from the manufacturers of automation technology to machine and system builders and installers as well as the operators themselves. Protection measures must address and mitigate not only current, but also pre-empt future security vulnerabilities.

Facilities need to understand and mitigate risk as well as install secure technology in order to build cyber resilience. This means implementing a holistic cyber security strategy at the organization, process and technical levels. Such a strategy must include comprehensive and standardized measures, processes and technical means, as well as preparation of people. But alongside all of this, it must also offer the recourse to an internationally recognized certification system.

A fundamental set of Standards for cyber security

The IEC has recently published IEC 62443-4-1-2018, the latest in a series of critical publications, establishing precise cyber security guidelines and specifications applicable to a wide range of industries and critical infrastructure environments. The IEC 62443 series recommends that security should be an integral part of the development process, with security functions already implemented in the machinery and systems.

These horizontal Standards are also used in the transport sector: a set of cyber security guidelines on board ships adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) refer to IEC 62243. The Shift2Rail, an initiative that brings together key European railway stakeholders, is aiming to define how different aspects of cyber security should be applied to the railway sector. It has assessed applicable standards and has selected the IEC 62443 publications. The IEC 62443 Standards are also compatible with the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cyber security framework.

Internationally recognized certification is key

Another boon is that the 62443 Standards have their own certification programme. The IEC is the only organization in the world that provides an international and standardized form of certification which deals with cyber security. It is supplied by IECEE, the IEC System for Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components. The IECEE industrial cyber security programme tests and certifies cyber security in the industrial automation sector.

The IEC is also working with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to create a common regulatory objectives document focusing on conformity assessment and cyber security. The aim of the document is to provide a methodology for a comprehensive system’s approach to conformity assessment that can be applied to any technical system in the cyber security field.

“Achieving cyber protection in a cost-effective manner results from applying the right protection at the appropriate points in the system to limit the risk and the consequences of a cyber attack. This means modelling the system, conducting a risk analysis, choosing the right security requirements which are part of IEC Standards, and applying the appropriate level of conformity assessment against the requirements, according to the risk analysis.

We need to assess the components of the system, the competencies of the people designing, operating and maintaining it, and the processes and procedures used to run it. This holistic approach to conformity assessment is indispensable to protect facilities, especially critical infrastructure, from cyber crime”, explains David Hanlon, Secretary of the IEC Conformity Assessment Board.

In a world where cyber threats are becoming ubiquitous, being able to apply a specific set of International Standards combined with a dedicated and worldwide certification programme, is one of the best ways of ensuring long-term cyber protection of critical infrastructure.

Efficient security processes and technology to machine and system builders and installers as well as the operators themselves. Protection measures must address and mitigate not only current, but also pre-empt future security vulnerabilities.

Facilities need to understand and mitigate risk as well as install secure technology in order to build cyber resilience. This means implementing a holistic cyber security strategy at the organization, process and technical levels. Such a strategy must include comprehensive and standardized measures, processes and technical means, as well as preparation of people. But alongside all of this, it must also offer the recourse to an internationally recognized certification system.

A fundamental set of Standards for cyber security

The IEC has recently published IEC 62443-4-1-2018, the latest in a series of critical publications, establishing precise cyber security guidelines and specifications applicable to a wide range of industries and critical infrastructure environments. The IEC 62443 series recommends that security should be an integral part of the development process, with security functions already implemented in the machinery and systems.

These horizontal Standards are also used in the transport sector: a set of cyber security guidelines on board ships adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) refer to IEC 62243. The Shift2Rail, an initiative that brings together key European railway stakeholders, is aiming to define how different aspects of cyber security should be applied to the railway sector. It has assessed applicable standards and has selected the IEC 62443 publications. The IEC 62443 Standards are also compatible with the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cyber security framework.

Internationally recognized certification is key

Another boon is that the 62443 Standards have their own certification programme. The IEC is the only organization in the world that provides an international and standardized form of certification which deals with cyber security. It is supplied by IECEE, the IEC System for Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components. The IECEE industrial cyber security programme tests and certifies cyber security in the industrial automation sector.

The IEC is also working with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to create a common regulatory objectives document focusing on conformity assessment and cyber security. The aim of the document is to provide a methodology for a comprehensive system’s approach to conformity assessment that can be applied to any technical system in the cyber security field.

“Achieving cyber protection in a cost-effective manner results from applying the right protection at the appropriate points in the system to limit the risk and the consequences of a cyber attack. This means modelling the system, conducting a risk analysis, choosing the right security requirements which are part of IEC Standards, and applying the appropriate level of conformity assessment against the requirements, according to the risk analysis. We need to assess the components of the system, the competencies of the people designing, operating and maintaining it, and the processes and procedures used to run it. This holistic approach to conformity assessment is indispensable to protect facilities, especially critical infrastructure, from cyber crime”, explains David Hanlon, Secretary of the IEC Conformity Assessment Board.

In a world where cyber threats are becoming ubiquitous, being able to apply a specific set of International Standards combined with a dedicated and worldwide certification programme, is one of the best ways of ensuring long-term cyber protection of critical infrastructure.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

About the IEC

The IEC (www.iec.ch) is the International Standards and Conformity Assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology. The IEC enables global trade in electronics and electrical goods. Via the IEC worldwide platform, countries are able to participate in global value chains, and companies can develop the standards and conformity assessment systems they need so that safe, efficient products work anywhere in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The IEC is the International Standards and Conformity Assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology. It enables global trade in electronics and electrical goods. Via the IEC worldwide platform, countries are able to participate in global value chains, and companies can develop the standards and conformity assessment systems they need so that safe, efficient products work anywhere in the world.